DT 30478 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30478

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30478

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday.      . 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Greenish-blue fish, it's poisonous (7)
CYANIDE:  A greenish-blue colour with one of the usual fish 

5a    Battle to penetrate mass defence (7)
BULWARK:  A synonym of battle inserted in (to penetrate) a synonym of mass 

9a    Not appropriate having some lieutenant panicking in retreat (5)
INAPT:  The answer is hidden in the reversal (having some … in retreat) of LIEUTENANT PANICKING 

10a   Travelling, our quest touring Italy to find shade (9)
TURQUOISE:  An anagram (travelling) of OUR QUEST containing (touring) the IVR code for Italy 

11a   Calm emanating from place might spread (10)
PHLEGMATIC:  An anagram (spread) of PLACE MIGHT 

12a   Exercise runs stimulate son (4)
JOGS:  Stimulate or nudge with the genealogical abbreviation for son 

14a   Congratulate Irishman about article that's attracting support (3,2,3,4)
PAT ON THE BACK:  Link together a male Irish name, about or concerning, a grammatical article, and a synonym of support

18a   Filled with awe using for instance Stevie's motor vehicle (6-6)
WONDER-STRUCK:  Stevie the musician with his S from the clue is followed by a big motor vehicle 

21a   Leave European team ahead of time (4)
EXIT:  The single letter for European, the Roman numerals for the number of players on, for example, a cricket team, and the physics symbol for time 

22a   Did nothing about Geordie endlessly playing musical instrument (10)
DIDGERIDOO:  DID and the letter representing nothing are wrapped about an anagram (playing) of all but the last letter (endlessly) of GEORDIE 

25a   Detailed lecture by Truss, making comeback? (9)
ELABORATE:  Lecture or speak comes after a truss or bundle of hay 

26a   Update at noon? (5)
AMEND:  The answer split (2,3) could denote the time corresponding to “at noon” 

27a   Streep excited accepting cameo initially in Bond film (7)
SPECTRE:  An anagram (excited) of STREEP containing (accepting) the initial letter of CAMEO 

28a   Flustered, that woman interrupts heartless song (7)
DITHERY:  A pronoun for “that woman” is inserted in (interrupts) a simple song minus its middle letter (heartless



1d    Touchy  carpenter (6)
CHIPPY:  A double definition

2d    Type of farm horse, outwardly lame (6)
ARABLE:  A variety of horse with the outer letters (outwardly) of LAME

3d    Makes entire home uplifting place, great changes inside (10)
INTEGRATES:  A usual word for “home” and the reversal (uplifting) of place or put with an anagram (changes) of GREAT placed inside

4d    Actor without speaking role  unusually (5)
EXTRA:  Another double definition 

5d    Brief obstruction when crossing street (9)
BARRISTER:  An obstruction containing (crossing) the abbreviation for street

6d    Student exposed as yob (4)
LOUT:  The single letter for a student or learner driver with a synonym of exposed 

7d    Nigerian ready to go north round area not east of Phoenix? (8)
ARIZONAN:  The reversal (to go north) of the Nigerian currency (ready) containing (round) a word meaning area minus the single letter for east (not east) 

8d    Look to turn foreign booze into evocative memento (8)
KEEPSAKE:  The reversal (to turn) of a quick look with a Japanese alcoholic drink 

13d   Fruit declared in vogue, reportedly (10)
REDCURRANT:  Homophones (reportedly) of synonyms of declared and of “in vogue”

15d   Stubborn occasionally, that idiot's around wearing award (9)
OBSTINATE:  Alternate letters (occasionally) of THAT with another word for IDIOT’S are joined and reversed (around) and then  inserted in (wearing) a usual award

16d   Footballers in defence, those making rubbish clearances? (8)
SWEEPERS:  Another double definition

17d   Imagine new face following procedure's conclusion (8)
ENVISAGE:  After concluding letter of PROCEDURE comes the single letter for new and a synonym of face 

19d   Stick poster in this location (6)
ADHERE:  An informal word for a poster announcing something and a word meaning “in this location” 

20d   Fine just to describe daughter with affection (6)
FONDLY:  The pencil abbreviation for fine with a synonym of just containing (to describe) the genealogical abbreviation for daughter 

23d   Eager desire all right to go topless (5)
GREED:  A word meaning “all right” minus its first letter (to go topless

24d   Supporting Left ousting female, Labour leader gets sack (4)
LOOT:  After the single letter for left comes a former Labour leader minus the single letter for female (ousting female) 


Thanks to today’s setter. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  BUY + OWE + PICK = BIOPIC

95 comments on “DT 30478
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  1. A lovely day here in Sandhurst, give me cold and bright any day over that miserable damp thing yesterday, with a quite lovely puzzle to accompany it.
    Off like a teenage sprinter on this one, but ended up like a sixty-odd wreck with gout, sciatica, and two verrucas stumbling towards the tape, it just got harder as it went along, but stuck it out ‘til the end.
    Got 7d from the checkers and the middle bit, but can’t see how the Nigerian comes into it, so will see the hints. Last one in was 12a, funny how the short ones always stick a spoke in the wheel.
    Too many brilliant clues to name them all, but if pushed, 1a, 28a and 26a have to get a mention. Thanks to our setter today, you’ve set the right mood for the whole day.

  2. Last Friday we had an X-less pangram; today we have a full 26 letter pangram so I consider that we can rule out proXimal as being today’s representative of the Friday triumvirate. Then of the other two members of that august trio I am inclined to say that this is a Silvanus production – 2.5*/4.5*

    A couple of the four letter clues were a little troublesome.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 18a, 19d, 23d, and the pun – and the winner is 18a.

    Thanks to Silvanus, or whomsoever if it is not he, and thanks to Mr K.

  3. The trickiest of the week for me but littered with good clues including the excellently brief and clever 26a. Mr K’s hints enabled me to fully understand 7&13d so thanks to him. Top end ***/***. Thanks to the setter whoever that is.

  4. well I rather blundered my way through this today, relying on good fitting bung-ins followed by much head scratching for the parsing.
    9A was my first in and least favourite clue (somehow I feel in a better world this would simply not be a word…),
    7D I could not parse and frankly would never have got there without Mr K’s insight.
    favourites today were 18A (who doesn’t love a Stevie reference) and 11A (great word).

  5. A fine Friday feast today, when I found the second X I went in search for another two in the other quadrants, failure to find them leads me to agree with Senf
    Lots to like today, I did “Stevie” whether the two Greenish-blues in 1a and 10a could be linked but again concur with Senf on 18a as favourite today

  6. The tophalf went in relativeely smoothly but, like Tipcat, I camebto a griinding halt. In my cascit was getting a start in the SE that held me up. I particularly liked rhe anagrams at 11a and 22a and two of the lego clues at 1a and 8d. Like Senf, I found a few 3-letter clues tricky and I too th Silvanus is the compiler. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Silvanus (?)for a most enjoyable tussle

  7. Very enjoyable throughout. The top half went in fairly easily but the bottom was more of a challenge. Unlike some others I quickly sorted out 7d. Having failed miserably with the capital of the Netherlands the other day I twigged the Nigerian ready straight away. Just got to remember now! Lots to like today and no overall favourite but a trinity of my favourite type of clues, 3d, 15d and the clever 26a. Thanks to our setter and MrK whose help I needéd with 24d.

    1. I’m with you Manders – no cats and finding the going tough. I’m going to drive George to vascular surgery this afternoon. He thinks he can take himself but I don’t know what they are going to do. Neither does he! Men.

      1. Let me understand this properly – George thinks he’s going to drive himself to and from surgery? No matter how small, that is madness. Please have them check for mental stability while they’re at it!

  8. A splendid finish to the week.

    Lots of grafting and grinding, working my way through it slowly but surely with my LOI being 24d. I didn’t know this meaning of truss or the colour in 1a and Stevie took me an age.

    My podium is 4a, 22a &27a.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.


  9. A fine Friday frolic from my favourite Friday man in which the short 24d was the last to fall by quite some distance.
    Favourite clue was 18a with other big ticks going to 5&26a plus 5,16,17&20d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus (has to be) and to Mr K who obviously left the cats to have a lie-in today!

  10. First class puzzle and a pangram to boot. Very clever wording which required careful analysis.
    I too think that this has all the hallmarks of a Silvanus offering.
    Ticks all over the place but 16d probably just wins it in a photo finish.
    Thank you setter and Mr K.

  11. Tough but completed understanding about 50% of the very wordy and complex clues such as 7d and 9a.
    Thx for the hints to explain many of my answers.
    Def not my fav.

  12. For a Friday, end of work week puzzle, it had it’s moments but once getting going it went in relatively easily and without too much head scratching.

    2*/3.5* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 10a, 14a, 22a & 13d — with winner 22a
    Clues that made me smile 14a, 18a, 22d, 28a & 8d

    Thanks to setter & Mr.K for hints/blog

  13. A slow start and much quicker finish, assisted by the realisation that a pangram was in the offing. Didn’t like 18a – pick-a-name clues rankle, and to me it’s not an oft-heard expression (awe-, yes, Thunder-, definitely, particularly if by AC/DC or Steve ‘n’ Seagulls); the repetition of reversal indicators was balanced by the welcome shortage of anagrams. Having said that 27a was one of my Hon Mentions for the super surface read. COTD for me to 26a – very clever, most amusing.

    3.5 / 3

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K

    1. Hi MG

      Regarding your comment about ‘pick a name’…are you in the same camp as a few others are which is ‘Pick a flower/plant/bird/fish/country/tree/capital/US state abbreviation/first name’ when you have nothing to work with? I understand why it irks but I’m fine with it.

      I can only think of two Stevies with the other one being Nicks who is nowhere near as famous, across all generations. I like the clue because the surname is a noun (or verb) which is always a nice observation.

      I do agree that the expression is rarely-used like ‘prevision’ in yesterday’s crossword. But, again, that’s works for me.

      1. Stevie Nicks was the first name that came to my mind: even with the quite obvious second half of the answer being a given, I wanted the full answer to be Nicks’Struck, and it took a good few seconds for the light to dawn! I’ve never really been greatly interested in or a fan of the other Stevie’s music, which doubtless is why he did not spring to mind any sooner.

        But yes, the “pick-a-name” clues do rankle/irk, however the saving Grace* was that Silvanus did at least point us in the right direction – and is in general scrupulously fair in such matters. Clues where one needs to pick a random ‘flower/plant/bird/fish/country/tree/capital/US state abbreviation/first name’ as you put it, do strike as being somewhat unfair.


        (* – pick any other suitable girl’s name that may fit)

        1. Love the asterisk comment!

          Finding out people’s tick boxes for crissies really interests me. I don’t know why but it does.

          I do wonder (intended) why Stevie left Motown after 60 years. It must have been a hell of a falling out between him and Berry after what they have gone through.

        2. A quick PS

          Did you know that asterisk’s root is the Greek word asteriskos that means little star (asteroid etc) which is what it looks like?

              1. It’s all Greek to me but the well known Greek Aristotle Google gives cat and tail in the analysis of the word. I have difficulty understanding East Anglians who are supposed to speak English let alone a foreign language in a strange Phonecian like script.

  14. Great fun, with some outstanding clues, foremost among which for me was 22a. It certainly felt like a Silvanus production, so many thanks to him, apologies to the actual setter if it is not he, and thanks most definitely to Mr K.

  15. My thanks to Mr K and to everyone who has taken the trouble to comment. I imagine that the felines are missing this week because they are too busy playing with the Christmas decorations that have just gone up!

    May I wish everyone a very good weekend.

  16. I still have three to do in the south east but will have to come back for them. I spent the morning making cakes for tomorrow’s WI stall at Coffee Stop – used my air fryer for the first time to make a carrot cake. Smells delicious but looks a bit sad. I think I have to buy silicone ‘tins’. I hope I’ll be back later to say I have finished it!

    1. I’m loving my air fryer but wish I had bought a bigger one, but what can you expect for a mere £36. My only disaster was the pheasant but the salmon fillets last night were fab and the stuffed mushrooms also good. Don’t make cakes as I don’t like sweet things and I’m rubbish at baking in any event. Finally finished the guzzle but the last few took an age. Thanks to Silvanus for the head scratching and Mr K for the pics which I can’t see!

      1. I loved my air fryer and used it all the time, had it for a few years. Alas, I no longer cook so it just sits there.

      2. I made the mistake of buying an air fryer book on line and it is full of things we just would not eat (well, George would eat chips if I was not looking) I really must try salmon. I ‘chickened’ out and cooked the fairy cakes in my oven. I very seldom bake cakes nowadays- only when we have a cake stall. I have just heard that the carol singers are not going to sing on the green tomorrow as the weather forecast is so foul. They will come straight to our hall so it will be hectic – hope they are all hungry.

  17. Favourites 11 14 and 26a and 5 17 and 19d. Had trouble with last few. Having been to Phoenix thought Arizona came into it and bunged in. I thought I was a space short expecting an “Ian” ending. Last one in 12a. I was fixated on PE and R for runs. Clicked at last minute when almost given up. 1d had to be right as I know it for an informal carpenter but not a synonym for touchy. I think of chippy as being happy go lucky, upbeat. I didn’t get the musical instrument until I had all the checkers. Unfortunately prefer not to think about is as reminds me of Rolf Harris. Thanks to Silvanus if it be thee and Mr Kitty.

    1. 1d is short for ‘chip on your shoulder’.

      Here’s a Friday fun fact:

      A blue chip company is so called as it’s the highest-valued chip in the casino.

  18. An great puzzle from the consistently excellent S. Good clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable solve. Too many fine clues to pick an outright favourite so will just give a special mention to 26a. 3*/4.5*.

    *Just a minor point, but could “evocative” in 8d have been omitted without affecting the clue?

    1. You’re probably right, J, but I think it adds some colour to the clue without making it too long.

      Also, an Oriental alcoholic drink probably merits the adjective because the trip was probably a special one as opposed to a memento from a dull day trip to somewhere in The UK.

      I don’t mind setters adding the occasional extra word that has nothing to do with the parsing but others would.

        1. Ah ha! My man.

          You have bookended this week very nicely with this one to go with Monday’s splendid triduum post.

          Just to let people know that I am oot and aboot Monday. So, next week’s poser will be aptly called ”Tom’s Tuesday Teaser”.

      1. Indeed, TDS65. I was going to add that “evocative” does help the surface read – lets call it “acceptable/enhancing surface padding”. But for the record, memento and the answer are both “evocative” reminders so the “evocative” is essentially cosmetic.

  19. I cannot open the old puzzles site this morning, been trying for about half an hour. Anyone else having this problem?

        1. Thanks Merusa, you are such a good friend. We did eventually access, but not the old site. Hopefully someone is fixing it as we speak.

          1. I could not access the old site yesterday and instead had to use the abomination; this morning I had no problems at all with the old site.

            1. I couldn’t even get the abomination to open at first. The crossword gremlins must have been busy today. But thankfully all seems ok right now.

  20. A DNF for me today. Liked 18a best.
    Thanks to sylvanus and to Mr K.

    Miserable grey day here with more of the same to come for the weekend.
    Good job I’ve got crosswords to do….oh and Christmas cards too……Wonder which I’ll start first……yes, it’s the crosswords….

  21. I found this very tricky, well, it’s Friday, what else could I expect? As yesterday, I solved as many as I could, then with help from word search, got a few more, and then so on. There were quite a few smiles along the way; 11a and 18a stood out for me, 24d was very clever, but the lovely word at 22a did it for me.
    Thanks Silvanus for the fun and Mr. K for the enlightenment. Wot?? No kitty pics? I’m shattered! I know, probably pushed for time, can’t blame you.

  22. Well, that was a bit of a grind and had to avail myself of several checkers….Yes, ‘ready’ and I didn’t get it for the capital of the Netherlands either but won’t be foiled a third time.
    Love that word at 11a. I say 14across for all involved:)

  23. Great fun today, lots to like and a relief to have a puzzle I could nearly do on a Friday! 18a was my favourite but could have been others. I needed the hints to explain my answer to 7d and 24 d which was the last one in and would not have been right without the pop up window telling me I had got all the answers right.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K for the hints.

  24. After trying on and off for an hour, we finally managed to get the “new” puzzle site to open and actually let us print the Quick and the Cryptic. Not my first choice, but relieved to get something. Wasn’t too uptight as I can rarely get on the wavelength on Fridays, as proved the case today. Double synonyms, strange clues, and sports. So late starting no time to peruse help, so setting aside. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. Off to make a batch of chocolate chip ice cream before I settle down to wrap the Christmas presents. Fingers crossed for a compliant puzzle site and a friendly cryptic tomorrow.

  25. Like others, I set off at a rapid pace only to come to a grinding halt halfway through. I couldn’t get AC/DC out of my head for 18a despite the fact it didn’t fit. Once a worm gets into the brain…..! A well crafted puzzle and just at the right level for a Friday. My COTD is the foreign booze at 8d.

    Thank you to the setter for the fun challenge. Thank you, Mr. K. for the hints a couple of which were needed.

    It was sunny in The Marches this morning but it’s now back to rain, rain and even more rain. The fields are sodden.

  26. That’s finished me off for the day and we’re going out to friends for supper tonight! :phew:
    I can’t remember when (or even if ever) I finished a Friday crossword so quite smug.
    Whether I actually enjoyed this is another matter – a bit too hard for me but maybe it’s good for the brain – it seems to have coped!
    Lots of clues that I particularly enjoyed including 14 and 18a and 17 and 20d. My favourite was 22a.
    Thanks for Silvanus for the crossword and to Mr K.

  27. This was good fun. 18a and 22a being my favorites. More time today as my wife is getting a new hip and this was an excellent time killer.

    1. Have lots of hippy friends, so v best wishes to your wife.
      Agree with your picks, but would add in 26a ( though I think I’ve seen it before) and also the great 14a.
      Confess to cheating by looking up the Nigerian stuff in 7d, but I’d already got the state, having visited Phoenix many times a year for 25 years or so on business.
      Many thanks to Sylvania and to MrK.

    2. Best new hip tip was the plastic bag on the seat when you go to pick the patient up. She sits on the edge of the bag and you pull her in from the other side. Hard to explain – but it works.

  28. 2.5*/5* for a splendid Friday pangram. I solved this many hours ago then went out to spend the day with my son before he heads back this evening to his family in Italy for Christmas.

    Almost every clue has ended up with a tick by it, and nosing ahead of the pack at the top of the pile are 5a & 5d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K.

  29. Top notch puzzle with ticks in abundance as per with a Silvanus guzzle – a photograph finish required to separate it from Robyn’s Wed Toughie as best of the week for me. Only a failure to parse 7d fully took a bit of the shine off the solve – twigged the area not east bit but even though I didn’t know the Nigerian currency no excuse for not pegging the context of ready. Last in, like others, was 24d then the penny dropped with the old Labour leader (who I pictured in Tuesday’s hints standing next to Maggie at the cenotaph wearing that donkey jacket) who I used to sit & chat to on the 24 bus from South End Green in Hampstead – he Westminster bound & me to uni at the LSE. Stevie’s transport was my clear fav with the biggest ticks against 1,5,22&27a + 5,8,13&17d.
    Thanks to Silvanus & to Mr K.

    1. Thank you very much, Huntsman.

      Great anecdote about Mr Foot, what on earth did you chat about? As you possibly know, he was an ardent Plymouth Argyle supporter (the city of his birth), and I remember my dad telling me that he once stood next to MF at half-time at the urinals of a particular London team that Plymouth were away to that day. The closest I’ve been to a political activist was passing Peter Tatchell in a London tube station earlier this year.

      1. He was a lovely fella & quite chatty. After the crushing Lab defeat of 83 many papers carried a great pic of him walking with Dizzy, his dog, between the ponds on the Heath with captions along the line of Is this the end of the road for Foot etc. I had no idea he was a Plymouth Argyle fan or indeed that was where he was born. Oh & I made a few bob betting on Simon Hughes in that Bermondsey by-election.

  30. Good evening
    Defeated by the Mighty Silvanus! It’s a DNF.
    Couldn’t for the life of me figure 1a or 12a; 7d & 24d were written (correctly) in the margin, but I didn’t have the courage of my convictions to write in the grid.
    26a is COTD. Superb!
    My thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K

  31. Way beyond my pay grade today.

    Needed the hints or answers for 8 clues.

    Failing to get 13a stopped me getting 7d from the checkers. 7d is the sort of clue I will never be able to solve.

    28a was also a new word for me at least.

    22a was another I could not have solved with infinity available.

    I am in awe of all the people who could solve this.

    Thanks to all.

  32. 24d was LOI, not that I didn’t have the answer but that it took a while to get the Labour leader. He was quite forgettable to be fair. I enjoyed this with the SW causing the most hold-ups, the ‘V’ missing from the pangram coming to my rescue. Favourite was 18a a number of others running it close. Thanks to Silvanus and Mr. K.

  33. A curate’s egg of fun plus some aggro. Can’t believe 18a came to mind as I have barely heard of the gentleman in question and likewise 16d as I know little about soccer. 24d rather convoluted. Runaway Fav 26a with 5d running up. No way 17d would have occurred to me without a jog so TVM for your hints MrK and Silvanus for the taxing puzzle. Pun is a bit iffy depending once more on pronunciation.

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